AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert has joined the crowded field of Republicans mounting primary challenges against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
The East Texas lawmaker is the latest prominent Republican seeking to unseat his party’s incumbent in the wake of Paxton’s top deputies reporting him to the FBI last year for alleged corruption. Gohmert announced his candidacy on Twitter Monday with a fundraising request that highlighted “the latest ethical, moral, and criminal allegations” against Paxton.
Despite the federal investigation and long-standing legal problems, Paxton has remained competitive in his party’s primary and won former President Donald Trump’s endorsement. The attorney general, who mounted a legal challenge seeking to overturn Trump’s loss in the 2020 presidential election, has denied any wrongdoing.
Gohmert is also a strong Trump supporter. He said in a video posted to Twitter that he backs many of the cases brought by Paxton’s office but that if elected he “will not wait to be my busiest until after there’s some bad press about legal improprieties.”
Also running in the Republican primary are Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and grandson of former President George H.W. Bush and ex-state Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman.
State Rep. Matt Krause, who had earlier joined the primary, dropped out of the race late Monday and said he would instead run for Tarrant County district attorney.